Originally Posted by Sol77
Out of curiosity (not to challenge you - I honestly don't know), how would they go about this considering the touch versus mouse dichotomy? A cursor on an iOS interface? Completely touch based? I'm intrigued by the latter, though I have reservations about the accuracy of the finger as a pointer when it comes to placing a cursor in a Pages/Word document...it's clumsy. I find that when I have to correct an error on an ipad or iphone, I have to delete the entire word most of the time. If an iOS laptop isn't marketed to the writer crowd, why bother with a laptop in the first place? If a keyboard provides enough utility to provoke Apple to create an iOS laptop, it seems they'd need to create a much easier way to place a cursor... Writing pages per day, it's certainly easier to place one with a mouse or a dedicated touch pad/arrow. When the original iPad came out I bought the keyboard with it, hoping I'd be able to set up impromptu offices and type away, but editing and inserting is far too slow for me. I certainly want it to happen and want there to be a solution, but...I'm wondering whether others are seeing a solution that I don't, or if most people simply aren't concerned with editing what they write. But if that were true, like I said, why bother with a laptop? Thoughts?
Apple has a strong stance on what should and shouldn't be touch-screen based. And I doubt they would put a touch screen on any "desktop" system - a computer meant to be used while set down on a surface.
There are two things to overcome when switching from a touch-based display to an external touch based device; absolute positioning and direct content manipulation. On the desktop, because of size constraints, pointer positioning is relative, meaning movement is tracked from its last location on the screen. "Hits" are also a secondary action - usually a button down. A touch event is no different to the system than a mouse down event - the difference is that mouse positioning is instantaneous on a touch screen and a separate action on an external input device. Positioning and "hitting" are one action on a touch screen display - breaking them out into two actions was figured out long ago.
Even on the Mac though, it knows the type of pointing device that is connected and changes its behavior accordingly... take scrolling; if a trackpad is connected, one finger to move the pointer, two to scroll. If a touch mouse is connected, move the mouse to position the pointer and one finger to scroll, if a regular (non-touch) mouse is connected, the scroll bars appear by default and use them to scroll the content.
OS X is already capable of dealing with different types of input devices and it would be trivial for Apple to add external input to iOS; throwing a "pointer" on the screen when an external pointing device is detected would be easy enough. Just as when an external keyboard is detected, the on screen keyboard is never brought up.
Apple took the time to do copy&paste right, they'll also figure out the best way to allow external input devices to connect to iOS devices and when they do, it won't be long before we see iOS on other computer form factors where touch screens won't be the best option.